This study utilized qualitative methods to explore perceptions of graduates from Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards™ Registered Programs regarding experiences that impact CFP® certification completion. Participants (N = 16) were classified into four different groups: Certified, In Progress, With Intentions, and No Intentions. In general, the themes that emerged from within case analyses and across cases related to four areas, including pre-service experience, intrinsic motivation, employment, and respect for the CFP® marks. The results of this study suggest that financial service firms have a number of opportunities to strengthen the interest in a financial planning career and assist recent graduates in their pursuit of CFP® certification with time and financial support of the examination process.

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